GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 7-ranked Lady Vols shut out No. 4 Florida, 3-0, at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on Saturday to win the series. UT goes for the series sweep tomorrow at noon ET.
With the victory, Tennessee (18-2, 2-0) secured the series in Gainesville for the first time since 2007 when the then-No. 1 Lady Vols won the first and third games of the weekend. UT last won a three-game series vs. the Gators in 2014 when it swept UF in Knoxville.
All three of the Orange and White’s runs were scored on solo shots beyond the wall as Haley Bearden, Gracie Osbron and Aubrey Leach each got a hold of balls left up in the zone by Florida’s Natalie Lugo.
In the circle for Tennessee, freshman Ashley Rogers earned the start and the first SEC win of her career as she pitched a complete-game shutout. The Athens, Tenn., native allowed just three hits and struck out seven Gators in the outing.
Florida (21-4, 0-2) threatened in the first, second and fifth innings by putting runners in scoring position, but all were left stranded.
Amanda Lorenz led off the bottom of the opening frame with a triple to left before three consecutive outs shut down the Gators’ best hopes of scoring a run. No one else made it past second base the remainder of the game.
In the second inning, Tennessee took a 2-0 lead, plating both runs on back-to-back homers. Bearden sent the first ball sailing over the right-field wall before Osbron knocked her first four-bagger of the season to center.
Senior Leach then led off the top of the third with her own blast to center to give the Lady Vols a 3-0 advantage.
UT and Florida had players reach base in the fourth and fifth innings, but neither could scratch a run across. The minimum was faced by both sides in the last two frames to make the 3-0 score final.
IT’S A HR DERBY: The Lady Vols have hit at least two home runs in seven of their 20 games so far this season. Of their 26 long balls, seven have come off of No. 4 Florida’s pitching staff. Prior to SEC play, the Gators had given up just nine home runs through 22 games.
ON DECK: Tennessee and Florida face off in the series finale at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 10. The game will be televised on SEC Network and a live radio broadcast will be available at Sports Radio WNML AM 990. Fans can also listen to the game on UTSports.com or the UT Gameday App. Live stats will be available on the softball schedule page.